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The Very Best Of Richie Valens

Ritchie Valens

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Album Review

With only two brief albums, a poorly recorded live high school show, and some demos and rehearsal tapes to draw from, the legacy of the late Ritchie Valens rests on an extremely small canon. Most collections of his work, like this one, are mix and match affairs from these few sources, and while Valens' charismatic talent is everywhere evident, he simply didn't live long enough to refine and develop it. His huge hit "La Bamba" is here, of course, and his halting, touching version of "Bluebirds Over the Mountain" shows that Valens knew his way around a ballad, but tracks like "Ritchie's Blues," which is an obvious rehearsal take, indicate how bare the cupboard actually is. Not that this is a bad anthology. It isn't. It simply shares the problem all collections of Ritchie Valens face: He died too young.


Born: 13 May 1941 in Pacoima, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '50s

The first Hispanic rock star, Ritchie Valens will forever be known as one of the two musicians (along with the Big Bopper) who perished with Buddy Holly in 1959, when their private plane crashed in the midst of a Midwest tour. At the time, Valens had only recently established himself as one of the most promising young talents in rock & roll, just barely missing the top of the charts with "Donna," a number two hit, and pioneering a blend of rock and Latin music with the single's almost equally...
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The Very Best Of Richie Valens, Ritchie Valens
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